Justin Welby tells BBC radio interviewer there are moments when he doubts – but he is certain about the existence of Jesus
The archbishop of Canterbury has admitted to having doubts about the existence of God and disclosed that on a recent morning jog with his dog he questioned why the Almighty had failed to intervene to prevent an injustice.
In a light-hearted but personal interview in front of hundreds of people in Bristol cathedral last weekend, Justin Welby said: “There are moments, sure, where you think ‘Is there a God? Where is God?’.
Welby quickly added that as the leader of the world’s 80 million-strong Anglican community this was “probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say”.
Earlier, the interviewer, BBC Bristol’s Lucy Tegg, reminded him of the weight his words carried. “You have a remarkably prominent role within the faith community around the world,” Tegg said. “I’ve noticed,” Welby quipped.
Tegg then asked him: “Do you ever doubt?”
Welby replied: “Yes. I do. In lots of different ways really. It’s a very good question. That means I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say. Yes I do.” He added: “I love the Psalms, if you look at Psalm 88, that’s full of doubt.”
Welby suggested that his doubts were a regular occurrence, by recounting a recent morning run with dog.
“The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God ‘Look this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something – if you’re there’ – which is probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say.”
He added: “It is not about feelings, it is about the fact that God is faithful and the extraordinary thing about being a Christian is that God is faithful when we are not.”
Later in the interview, Welby said he was certain about the existence of Jesus, even talking about his presence beside him. “We know about Jesus, we can’t explain all the questions in the world, we can’t explain about suffering, we can’t explain loads of things but we know about Jesus,” Welby said.
Asked what he does when life gets challenging, Welby said: “I keep going and call to Jesus to help me, and he picks me up.”
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